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Ethnographer & Oral Historian
Rlene Santos Steffy

When you are looking for groundbreaking historical documentaries telling the story of the human experience, look no further than Rlene"Live" Productions in Guam and their Riverside, California business representatives.  We tell the real life stories of people in the Oceanic Region of the world, with emphasis on Micronesian peoples.

Telling a Story

What we enjoy most is the story, the live drama.  No fiction can enrich a person the way someone's real life experiences can.  Award winning Australian novelist, short story writer and editor, Carmel Bird said it best, "Life is a crude inventor; fiction will only be as convincing if it is more artful than life."  The Family Steffy Oral History Collection is complete with Oceanic life's artful expressions.

Very intimate moments, expressive public laughter, death, and murder create incredible emotion in people.  Oral history helps us to understand the human psychology developing in behavioral context.

You must have heard it said before, "It should've happened this way but this is how it really happened."  The interviewing process is empowering.  The transformation of the interviewee range from initial hesitance to complete release of long held memories is a cathartic experience for them.  The Oral Historian is carried along by the release – crying when they cry, happy when they express joy and angry when they express anger.  Reliving memories with them.

    

Archival research is important in placing the Oral History experience in a regional or global historic context. 

Changing with Our Work

We gain a greater appreciation for the struggle and determination of the manamko' (elders) every time we listen to their personal experiences.  It is all about the context.  Many World War II Survivors have been silent about their war experiences because they have not had time to grasp the reality of what happened to them.  As media show more interest in survivor accounts, it validates the survivors and helps them to realize that to whatever degree they experienced the war, it matters. 

After interviewing WWII Survivor Leoncio Ignacio Castro in 2003, he said, "My god, Rlene, you immortalized me."  Castro realized the benefit and permanency of video recording his oral history account; that it gives people the opportunity to participate in the creation of the historical retelling of their lives. Oral history accounts teach us what people hope for, how they feel, what their aspirations and disappointments are that cannot be found in any other historical sources.

Digital Storytelling
November 2014
 

Digital Storytelling from Micronesia Publishing on Vimeo.

This Digital Storytelling feature was presented by producer, Rlene Santos Steffy on June 14, 2012 at the 1st Marianas History Conferecne in Saipan.  It features specific life experiences of Frescania Taitano Taitague, Catherine Sablan Gault and Joseph Torres Barcinas who not unitl Steffy's interview did they speak of the events publically. 


Contact me to learn more about my story and historical documentaries.

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